Children are naturally curious about the world around them. It’s easy to help them grow a love for nature with simple activities like going for walks and reading books.
There are so many wonderful books, non-fiction and fiction, that have been written about nature to enjoy with your children. I’ve compiled a list of 15 books to inspire a love of nature in children to help you get started.
Picture Books That Inspire a Love of Nature
The Raft – An imagination-sparking story about appreciating the simple, natural joys of the world and the people in it, and about discovering and exploring one’s own talents.
The Busy Tree – Spectacular illustrations rendered in oil paint, and a rhyming text that describes a tree’s activities from its roots to its branches, introduce young readers to the amazing activities that go on in a tree.
I Took a Walk – Have you ever sat quietly near a stream, or in a meadow or a wood, and just looked and listened? Vibrant, die-cut flaps fold out, inviting young viewers to observe the many forms of wildlife and plants found on land and in the water.
Miss Rumphius – Alice made a promise to make the world a more beautiful place, then a seed of an idea is planted and blossoms into a beautiful plan. This beloved classic and celebration of nature—written by a beloved Caldecott winner—is lovelier than ever!
If You Find a Rock – With joyful, poetic text and luminous photographs, If You Find a Rock celebrates rocks everywhere—as well as the mysterious and wonderful places they are found.
Owl Moon – This beautiful, nature-filled book follows a little girl and her father as they go owling.
Outside Your Window – This beautiful book of poetry captures all the sights and sounds of a child’s interactions with nature, from planting acorns or biting into crisp apples to studying tide pools or lying back and watching the birds overhead. Outside Your Window is a stunning reminder that the natural world is on our doorstep waiting to be discovered.
Swirl by Swirl – With simplicity and grace, Joyce Sidman’s poetry paired with Beth Krommes’s scratchboard illustrations not only reveal the many spirals in nature—from fiddleheads to elephant tusks, from crashing waves to spiraling galaxies—but also celebrate the beauty and usefulness of this fascinating shape.
Wonders of Nature – In this gorgeous Little Golden Book from 1957, Eloise Wilkin’s stunning and realistic artwork is accompanied by gentle text that brings an awe of nature to the youngest readers.
A Seed is Sleepy – This gorgeous book from award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston offers children a beautiful and informative look at the intricate, complex, and often surprising world of seeds.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – This is a stunning book presentation of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”.
What the Sea Saw – The complex habitats and rich diversity of seashore life are accurately and beautifully portrayed in a new book for young naturalists. Adults and young readers alike will want to return again and again to this joyous celebration of the seashore.
Where Butterflies Grow – In a field of lacy leaves, a small caterpillar hatches, grows, and sheds its skin, becoming a smooth, green creeper. It eats and changes some more, then in a sequence of remarkable close-ups, spins a sliken sling in which to pupate—until it finally bursts forth as a brilliant black swallowtail butte
Winter Is Coming – Witness the changing of a season through a watchful child’s eyes in this story of nature and discovery from award-winning author Tony Johnston and New York Times Best Illustrated artist Jim La Marche.
Finding Wild – Two kids set off on an adventure away from their urban home and discover all the beauty of the natural world. From the bark on the trees to the sudden storm that moves across the sky to fire and flowers, and snowflakes and fresh fruit.
Do you have a favorite picture book about nature? Share it in the comments!
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